Monday, March 22, 2010

Thirties Shmirties!

Since turning the big 3-0 I've managed to...

...have a fully stocked bar (with airplane shots given to me for my b'day!). We have a sweet bar set-up in our living room but we never have had alcohol for it. Now that I'm old(er) I figure why not! The counter still serves as the diaper changing station. It doesn't get too wild around here!
...capture a sweet moment with the kids. They were waving bye-bye to Grammy as she left. They love her!
...find Trey doused in powder. He was alone for about 2 minutes. He knows exactly what he's not supposed to get into and that's the first thing he goes for. That's what I get for letting him play in Abby's room while she was gone for the day.
...not get mad at him. Seriously, could you?? take a picture of the dog. Yes, we still have him. Yes, this is how he always looks when there's nobody outside.
...not get pinched by the "Pinch Patrol". I mean, how cute is that?!!
...cook a dinner that was enjoyed and (mostly) eaten by all. The kids are even into eating meat lately! get the under-the-stairs closet cleaned out. It was one of those closets that you were afraid to open for fear of being swallowed up by a tidal wave of junk! Along with the closet I also cleaned and reorganized my pantry and my entire kitchen. But that was when I was still a young lass of 29 so no pictures of it.
...get something done in our room! I spent all day yesterday (9 hours!) cleaning it out. There were an array of items that had never been gone through/put away from when we moved in 5 YEARS AGO! Once that was done I decided I'd finally get around to painting it. So the kids and I went and got paint today and I got one wall done during Trey's nap. It's a darker blue/gray/slate kind of color. The wall behind our bed is going to be a dark charcoal/navy color. It looks awesome so far! I hope to get the rest done within the next two weeks!
Today was a busy day, the kids and I ran errands for three hours, came home, at lunch, put Trey down, painted, cleaned up that mess, cleaned the kitchen while the kids colored (fought, colored??? what's the difference?), started a riot on facebook, made dinner, gave the kiddos baths, put them to bed and now I'm blogging. Yeesh! Not sure if all this motivation is because I hit 30 or because I finally realized that No, the maid/cook/masseuse is NOT EVER COMING!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fight the Fuzz!

My feather duster has become a new favorite toy.
"Mom! Watch me fight the fuzz!!"
She also calls the dust in the air "moters". Moters are especially obvious when the sun shines and Abby loves to talk about the millions of moters flying aorund. Possibly I should dust more.
Roy G. Biv
We have spent a lot of family time coloring with markers. Trey is doing better at coloring on the paper instead of the table, his clothes, his face...but once in a while he still likes to put on some "lipstick". Go Trey. It's fun to watch the different coloring styles between the four of us. Jerry is very true to the picture (he actually went and looked at Trey's Lightning McQueen car to make sure he was coloring it right). I color with one eye on the paper and one eye on the children. It takes me a long time to color one picture and I usually wind up with someone on my lap "helping" me. Abby is all about using LOTS of colors. Nothing is the color it is in real life but she is really good at coloring in the lines. She's my creative child for sure. Trey is very serious with his coloring. It starts of with really short, small lines and eventually turns into big circles. He likes taking the lids of all the markers and refuses to put any lids back on, and he usually winds up with his hands totally covered in marker. Color time is often followed swiftly by bath time!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Did you miss me???

I realize that I took quite a long break from blogging and thought I should give a few reasons why. First of all, Abby was banned from using the computer for quite some time and it was turned off during the day and I just never felt like booting it up, blogging, getting sucked into Facebook, only to find that I had to turn it off because nap time was over. And when Jerry gets home he usually has a few work things going on here that I don't want to take the chance of messing up!

Second, I have just been plain busy. Nothing outrageous or out of the ordinary but between working 20 hours a week and trying to keep up with housework and Jerry's crazy-busy schedule, I've found that it difficult to set time aside when the kids are asleep to blog. (I can't do it when they're awake because they either want to use it and whine, whine, whine or Trey won't stop trying to push buttons) I am still Velcro Mom!

Third and probably the biggest was that I needed to cut some things out of my day for a while and blogging was the easiest to stop doing. I finally went to see my doctor in January and after discussing things with him we thought it would be the right decision to start me on anti-depressants. What a FABULOUS decision that was!!! I have noticed for a long time (possibly even some issues with it as a kid) that I just didn't feel right. It was much more noticeable after giving birth to Trey but I thought it was just that I was tired because, frankly, I was tired. But the feelings never really went away even after he started sleeping all night. And sometime around last October/November I began to really go downhill. I was feeling super anxious all the time, very overwhelmed, tired, irritable, lots of different things. I was hoping that after the holidays things would improve but having the flu and a nasty month-long cold did nothing to help and things really did not improve. By January I was not interested in taking care of the kids at all. It took everything I had just to do the daily necessary tasks for them. I didn't want to get out of bed, I felt utterly exhausted. Mostly I just wanted to walk away from it all...and had that feeling EVERY DAY! It was terrible. I felt like I was a huge failure as a mom, as a wife, as a person. Jerry was so incredibly supportive and was very encouraging with me as I debated whether or not I needed medical intervention. I know there are lots of options on how to treat depression; exercise and diet being two big ones, but I felt like I was so buried under the overwhelming feeling that I couldn't even take steps to change anything on my own. So roughly 8 weeks ago I started the meds, it's a pretty low dose but seems to be working very well. Within 3 days, the anxious feelings were virtually gone. I didn't feel like screaming at everyone or running away. And just in the last 2-3 weeks I have finally gotten my mojo back. I am so much more patient, I feel much calmer, the house is getting picked up regularly, and I have even accomplished some projects lately. Everyone that is around me on a consistent basis can tell that my mood has improved and Jerry and the kids are especially grateful :) I'm sharing my story simply for the fact that I felt really isolated with my feelings but once I started talking to people it became apparent that many others have similar feelings as well. I felt as if I needed to want to be with my kids 24-7 and that if I didn't it meant there was something wrong with me. The guilt and the feelings of failure were horrible but I know that the expectations I had put upon myself were not realistic for the type of person that I am and the life that I lead. The kids won't remember that their house was never spotless, the laundry wasn't always done, that there was painting/decorating that I always wanted to do. My kids will always remember that Mommy played lots of games with them, read them lots of books, did a lot of arts/crafts and fun things with them and that is what really matters to me!

Winter Olympics 2010

Jerry kept saying how much fun he thought it would be to go to Vancouver during the Olympics just to check it out and see the sights. We finally decided on the second Monday of the games that we would go on Thursday. I had an expired passport so I had to go to the DMV and get the enhanced license. I took a few hours of work Tuesday and sat there for 40 minutes before finally getting to the counter where I was informed that the EDL system was down and no, no one was sure when it would be up and running. Awesome. So I tried again Wednesday and after 90 minutes of waiting I was the proud owner of a temporary, paper EDL.

We dropped the kiddos off at my mom's house at 7:30...yes we actually got up and got going early that day! The Canadian customs guy couldn't believe that I handed him a PAPER license. I had my regular license too and that was fine (you really only need the enhanced to get back IN the states). So off we went on the Canadian highway into Surrey where we parked at Scott Rd and got on the SkyTrain. We rode all the way to the Waterfront and got off and grabbed some breakfast at the McD's there. Fueled up, we were ready to start our day of walking. We first stopped to see the cauldron, torch, flame, fire, whatever it was called.
We stopped to look out at the water too and I was trying to take a picture of the floating Chevron gas station (I am that nerdy!) and Jerry asked if I was taking a picture of the rings. I said "What rings?" And he looked at me like I was the biggest idiot ever, pointed, and said "Those rings!" I took another look and right next to the floating gas station was the barge with the Olympic rings. So I took a picture of them for Jerry.
My handsome tour-guide figuring out our route.
We walked a million miles, saw a million things but most of them you have probably seen on tv but this display really caught my eye. It was a long, double line of trees with these lanterns. It looked really beautiful at night all lit up.

We bought the kids each a stuffed mascot. Abby got MukMuk (the thing with the orange hat) and Trey got Sumi (the one with the green hat) and Jerry and I thought it would be funny to get a picture of us with them, in a bobsled of course. The kids loved it.
We scored free suite tickets from a scalper for the bronze medal, women's hockey game. Long story but the seats were sweet (suite/sweet, get it?!). Finland one which was great since everyone in our box seemed to be rooting for them.
Jerry again thought I was a tool for taking another lame-o picture but I full on claim my nerd status. Our box was right next to these guys and the one with the white hair was the announcer for the arena. I spent a lot of time watching him, and thought it was very fun and interesting.
There are guys on life guard stands on many street corners who shout out random informative things. Games that are starting, scores of previous events, directions, etc.

After the hockey game we walked across the street to Costco for lunch. Long story short, Jerry helped a guy having a heart attack (or something very much like one), pretty much saved his life as the ambulance took almost 25 minutes to get there, and Costco gave us free lunch. Woo-hoo! It was neat for me to see Jerry in action, I've never gotten to witness it. I was proud and impressed. We had such a great time together. We spent 12 hours together, walked a lot, shopped a lot and I don't recall arguing once!!!

The Past 2 Months (yes, I am that far behind!!)

As I was adding ALL the pictures, I kept waiting for Blogger to tell me that I had reached my one-post maximum...but that never happened. So here is what the Gardner family has been up to for the last couple of months, in mostly pictures.

My two boys having some serious male-bonding time playing video games
He does not know that his controller isn't plugged in...that will be a sad day for us grown-ups when he wants to play For Real
We play LOTS of Sword-Man around here. Even Grammy gets in on the action.
His awesome bruise/scrape courtesy of the cement at daddy's school!
We've lived hear almost 5 years and I finally got around to buying something to store shoes in by the door. A new favorite game for Trey is to put in/take out the shoes
With his Xmas money Buddy bought his first train set up. More will be added for his birthday!
Trey's FAVORITE thing in the whole world is to wash dishes and he kindly let his sis join him. Kept them busy for nearly an hour (not the "greenest" hour in our house!) and when it was over there was as much water on the floor as in the sink
We had a playdate in January with Rogan and Luca (the twins belonging to my friend/co-worker Ranelle!) and Trey is always excited to have another boy around to do boy things with.
Meanwhile the girls were doing girl is always a hit with these two
Is it Abby or a scary pirate clown????
Luca is pretty much a rockstar. She did a fabulous makeup job, including putting on her own mascara. Love this girl!!!
And of course Trey was dying to get in on the action so I let him pretend.
This is how I found the kids one day before we left for the store. They weren't playing or fighting, it was really a sweet moment!
New laundry baskets are awesome play toys. Abby would count to three (hence her weird fingers in the pic) and they would trade baskets.
No high chair, no booster, and using metal utensils....he's growing up!
Her new name is Abby Gardener...she truly loves to work in the garden. She is a great outside helper to both her grammys!
Trey with his "tooly" going to help Abby
He's just cute.
My three babies
So cute!!
The slide was finally added to the play set a few weeks ago, someday the swings will make it on too. Big hit with the kids. Here's buddy playing pre-slide
Rusty is the master digger around here!
Trey was all about the shaving. He likes to imitate everything!
And those dimples??? SO CUTE!

She. Let. Him. Sit. That. Close. WOW
My baking buddy...wonder why she likes to help so much!

Valentine's Day Balloon
Buddy loved his too.
She was so afraid of this hamster at Xmas but had it sitting on her shoulder the other day....what??
I finally got brave enough to let Trey paint.

She's such a little artist
No words for this
or this
Loves to cross his eyes too...hard to get a picture of though. Makes me laugh every time so they do it A LOT
Showing off his messy hands
Trey is doing really well at eating cereal now too. Not so much milk on the table anymore

And who doesn't love a bowl with a straw?!!!
Some not very sticky athletic tape leads to some interesting moments.

His "Death Laser Hand" pose...comes complete with fun noise. And when hit with the laser you are supposed to fall over and play dead. Oh the joys of life with a boy!
And as there have been so many moments unrecorded on the blog the last two months I am doing a general recap of each kid, mostly for my own sake before my memory fails but you all can enjoy reading it as well!

Abby: She has finally started staying in her room quietly (sleeping or not, I don't know) until around 6-6:30. A HUGE improvement from the 5 am business. She informed me today that her best friends are Luca, Grammy Suse, Anicia and she loves Ranelle and Gina too. This week she has eaten all her dinner every night and if asked for a dinner request will say "hash" every single time. It's become a family joke now. She's not any nicer to her cat Izzy. In fact she and Trey were playing hide-and-seek with her in Trey's room the other day. I don't think Izzy was a willing participant. She is a big "reader" still. All the words are from memory but we're starting to work on sounding things out so she can start reading for real. Her memory is ridiculously amazing for information of all kinds. She can now write as well. She writes lots of peoples names and can copy things I write out for her. I really wish that every person out there could spend one entire day with her just to get the full range of her smart, witty, temperamental self. She is one spunky, spitfire of a girl.

Trey: Well big changes have happened with this little guy. As of Monday we no longer have a gate on the stairs, he now sleeps in a bed and we did away with his bottle!!! My baby is no longer a baby...and I couldn't be more excited! The transition to a bed was a piece of cake. I stayed with him until he fell asleep on Monday for his nap and at night. Tuesday I started what is no the routine; brush teeth, read books, snuggle for just a minute or two, hugs, kisses and leave the room. He cried about 15 minutes before falling asleep for both his nap and that night. Since then that time has gone down and now he only fusses for a minute or so. LOVE IT!! I really enjoyed my kids as babies but I enjoy them having some independence more. His language is also exploding. He just decided to start talking one day and it gets more clear and he uses more words almost daily. He loves pointing out all his body parts that he knows: elbows, knees, tummy, toes, fingers, hair, eyes, etc.... I'm also continually amazed at his physical prowess. He can still swing a bat and throw a ball really well but he also can jump quite a distance and climbs everything. He is a big-time wrestler now too and his favorite target is Abby. She's pretty good about going along with it 75% of the time. He has good form and is so strong! I think he may be quite the athlete as he gets older. Big smiles for that!